A Venetian Affair by Andrea Di Robilant

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In the waning days of Venice’s glory in the mid-1700s, Andrea Memmo was scion to one the city’s oldest patrician families. At the age of twenty-four he fell passionately in love with sixteen-year-old Giustiniana Wynne, the beautiful, illegitimate daughter of a Venetian mother and British father. Because of their dramatically different positions in society, they could not marry. And Giustiniana’s mother, afraid that an affair would ruin her daughter’s chances to form a more suitable union, forbade them to see each other. Her prohibition only fueled their desire and so began their torrid, secret seven-year-affair, enlisting the aid of a few intimates and servants (willing to risk their own positions) to shuttle love letters back and forth and to help facilitate their clandestine meetings. Eventually, Giustiniana found herself pregnant and she turned for help to the infamous Casanova–himself infatuated with her.

Two and half centuries later, the unbelievable story of this star-crossed couple is told in a breathtaking narrative, re-created in part from the passionate, clandestine letters Andrea and Giustiniana wrote to each other.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Andrea Di Robilant

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Andrea di Robilant was born in Italy and educated at Le Rosey and Columbia University, where he specialized in international affairs. He currently lives in Rome with his wife and two children and works as a correspondent for the Italian newspaper La Stampa. This is his first book.From the Hardcover edition.
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 322 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction

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The story seems to contain all the necessary elements for a riveting tale: a beautiful young woman, a charming, upwardly mobile Venetian politician, forbidden love, clandestine meetings, help from Casanova (yes, that one), covert correspondence, a surprise pregnancy, a suspicious mother, treacher...

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The Guardian

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A Venetian Affair by Andrea di Robilant Fourth Estate £16.99, pp304 There is no sequence of buildings more haunted by their own ghosts than the palazzi flanking the Venetian Grand Canal, whose walls echo the romance of distant love, lust, music and power play.

Jan 25 2004 | Read Full Review of A Venetian Affair

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